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Cranfills Gap, Texas, USA by Rajesh Jyothiswaran

I know there are others that have photographed this stunning Norwegian chapel in Cranfills Gap, TX at night but, I do not recall having seen the tell tale green airglow in photos taken here. I have been there three times before this and my fourth visit is special for what I was able to capture in near ideal conditions. This time even the wispy layers of clouds contributed to the intrigue of the scene in contrast to my previous visit when thick clouds blanketed the skies.

After setting up the star trail time lapse, I found this composition and took the first photo. As soon as I looked at the back of the camera I told my friends, “Wow! There is a lot of airglow. I have never seen so much of it here”

It is only at this time of the year the Milky Way aligns vertically with the church spire. For this composition, I had the company of the Larsons in the foreground. I took care to be deliberate and respectful around their resting places. This has to be one of my more satisfying night photo shoots where everything worked like intended and to the unusual airglow was icing on the cake.


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Camera Sony a7R II
Lens Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8
Aperture f/2.8
S/S 20sec
ISO 5000
Additional Notes Wired Remote Shutter Release.
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About Author 

Rajesh Jyothiswaran, is a self taught photographer. A chance realization of his own latent photography skills, when a smartphone photo of his native plant garden in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas went viral led to the purchase of his first DSLR. His interests range from macro to astro though landscape and astrophotography in places rarely photographed excite him the most. Photography has taken him on a path of self-discovery, learning, and meaningful friendships across the world. His images have been displayed at several exhibitions, He has also won several awards for his work including the 2017 International Landscape Photographer of the Year Top 101 award and a Top 10 finalist in the Smithsonian 15th Annual Photo Contest. Born and raised in India, Rajesh lives in North Texas with his wife and two daughters. He aspires to continue growing as an artist and be a source of inspiration to others.

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